Using data to track patients, Twin Cities clinics save millions while improving care
Clinic staff members at Neighborhood HealthSource in Minneapolis were studying patient data not long ago when a number jumped out at them: One of their patients had visited the emergency room 73 times in the previous year.
Alarmed that she might be gravely ill — or running up thousands of dollars in hospital bills — they took a closer look. It turned out she was using a local ER for routine medical care — or simply on days when her regular physician wasn’t scheduled to work.
They met with the patient to explain that she would be better off coming to the clinic. But they never would have spotted the problem in the first place if not for an ambitious new project to improve Minnesota’s massive Medical Assistance program by making front-line medical clinics more responsible for the cost and quality of patient care.